West Virginia vs Kansas Odds, Picks: Team Total Bet to Make

West Virginia vs Kansas Odds, Picks: Team Total Bet to Make article feature image

Pictured: Jalen Wilson #10 of the Kansas Jayhawks. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

West Virginia vs Kansas Odds

Saturday, Feb. 25
4 p.m. ET
West Virginia Odds
-110o / -110u
Kansas Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Still in search of his first career win in Allen Fieldhouse, Bob Huggins leads his Mountaineers into Lawrence with a huge opportunity to boost the Mountaineers' tournament resume. Bill Self has never lost in one of Kansas' final two home games in any season of his head coaching career with the Jayhawks.

Here is my prediction on whether those trends will continue on this occasion:

West Virginia Mountaineers

The first matchup between the Jayhawks and Mountaineers was never truly in question. Kansas made six of its first seven 3-point attempts, helping the Jayhawks build a lead that kept the Mountaineers at arm's length throughout. If West Virginia can take any optimism from that game into this rematch, it will have Kedrian Johnson in uniform Saturday after he was in street clothes during the first game.

West Virginia's motivation and focus won't be in question. After a difficult home loss to Texas Tech, West Virginia dominated the Oklahoma St. Cowboys to stay on the safe side of the projected bubble. Earning a win at Kansas, something Huggins hasn't been able to do, would likely be enough to procure an at-large bid no matter what happens the remainder of the year.

The identity of this year's Mountaineer team is more visible than last year's version, but still not the defensive pressuring bunch Huggins' teams became known for in the past 10-15 years. A total in the 150s is indicative of that shifting identity. Without guards like Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles, who could defend without ever seeming to fatigue, West Virginia will have to produce a volcanic offensive performance to defeat a loaded Kansas team.

Erik Stevenson certainly has that volcanic offensive potential. In his first season as a Mountaineer, Stevenson has provided perimeter shooting barrages that have led his new team to key wins over Florida, Auburn and Oklahoma St. However, like many shooters, he has also disappeared at times. He will need to perform at or near his offensive ceiling if West Virginia is to win in a hostile environment against elite defenders like Dajuan Harris and Kevin McCullar.

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Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks have managed five consecutive victories after a three-game losing streak that had many questioning their legitimacy. Kansas' recent wins have been a mix of offensive explosions and low scoring impressive efforts on the defensive end.

Kansas may be unlikely to shoot with the same efficiency from outside as it managed to in the first game in Morgantown. However, I think the Jayhawks will still be able to score with relative ease. Five players tallied 10 or more points for Kansas against the Mountaineers in their first matchup. I would anticipate that balanced scoring approach to be utilized again here.

Jalen Wilson's gaudy scoring statistics from the team's non-conference portion of the schedule have leveled off somewhat in Big 12 competition. Some stars may show frustration when having an off night, even if their team is still winning, but Wilson has shown no signs of frustration. His two worst games have come in victories, implying the defensive focus on Wilson has created more opportunities and space for his teammates.

West Virginia vs Kansas Betting Pick

Kansas has developed an ability to get scoring from numerous players as the season has progressed. The Jayhawks are no longer solely reliant on Wilson for their offensive success.

The ability to score from all five positions will be difficult for West Virginia to defend. If you close your eyes and imagine West Virginia playing Kansas, you likely picture Frank Mason guarding Javon Carter and both head coaches emphasizing relentless defensive intensity. While both coaches may long for those days in an ideal world, they have been forced to adapt their styles as college basketball has evolved.

This game will not be a classic 60-59 final. Kansas will look to dictate tempo and score in transition. I think eight points is a lot to lay against a very competent and desperate Mountaineers team. Regardless, I think Kansas tallies 80 or more here even if they aren't able to win by a double-digit margin.

Pick: Kansas Team Total Over 79.5

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Sean Treppedi
Jun 12, 2024 UTC